I have been going to job interviews for few months now. My latest one was yesterday. I was quite excited about it. The vacancy seemed to be just right for me, sounded like the pay would be OK too. So I went.
The office was set up in a rented apartment, I was asked to wait for few minutes in one of the rooms there. First I pulled out my phone and played with it for a while, then I started looking around, wondering what kind of people work at these empty desks, when they are in the office (It was past 6 pm). The whole place was a mess, the walls were plastered with the sticky notes, some of them already faded in color. The desks were full of scattered papers. The lone poster was hanging miserably on one pin. I instantly got a feeling that people here hate their jobs, and 5 minutes to 6 they were already out through the door.
After 10 minutes I was called to the meeting room. There were three middle-aged women and a young assistant, typing away on her lap top. One of the three was an American, two others were Georgians. I instantly got a feeling that I was done a great favor by these three almighty personas who would or not give me a job and income.
They were shuffling through papers with busy faces, so I had a moment to assess them. One of the three women looked like she does not know that people comb their hair and some of them do so at a hairdressers sometimes. She looked older than me, but I am not so sure. She acted like she was terminally ill, but then it turned out that they have been sitting through the interviews since 9 am and they were tired. Another woman gave out the vibe I have to be here but I have better things to do. The American looked more professional then the rest of them, judging by her looks and her body language. The tired uncombed woman turned out to be a director of the project, the bored one – I could not understand what exactly she did, but after just few words uttered by her and interrupted by the uncombed one I could tell these two hated each other. American tactfully ignored all this, but it was obvious she was fed up with other two.
They asked questions and I answered them. They asked if I read the phrase in the job posting asking to inquire if any additional questions. I said I did read it and I did not have any additional questions. They found it strange that I did not have additional questions. Here my mind went into the frenzy. Should I tell them what I think about the place? In this case I will never get this job. Should I lie like a school girl and pretend all is OK? Come on. So I said what I thought but tried to do it as politely as the circumstances allowed. The job posting gave a brief description and I learned from it that I am qualified for it. I did check the company background and it seemed it was worth trying my luck with them. This is as much as I need for a job interview. If I get a job I will study all the papers available. If these ladies were selecting a candidate among many, I am also selecting a job among, well not so many, but still. American started nodding her head frantically, bored one probably was not listening and tired one started looking even more tired.
I was asked to send by e-mail a brief report which would show that I have enough analytical skills to merge qualitative and quantitative indicators (yes, this general and vague). I promised, because I believe that if I put out 100% of what I can, it will be paid back eventually.
This morning I woke up and started thinking what kind of life I am getting myself into. How far do I want to go in order to have a decent job. Spending 40 hours per week with unhappy invisible coworkers and being insulted by the tired Director once in a while, because she can? And should I be happy with just a descent job? Why not go for a great job? So I decided to wait until I switch from my car to a bus, when i run out of money and so I did not merge nonexistent quantitative indicators with the nonexistent qualitative ones. My analytical skills stay with me, because this time I will need to listen to my intuition.
Employers need to remember they are not the only ones who are picking.
In a moment I’ll be sending a polite e-mail saying that I have some other opportunities which I would prefer to follow through.